A press release doesn't really do justice to a device like the Samsung Galaxy Beam - you've got to see it with your won eyes to do it justice. And while we can't personally fly you to Barcelona for the debut of Samsung's Android smartphone-pico projector mash up, we can do the next best thing and give you some live impressions of the device. Samsung was nice enough to show off the Galaxy Beam - under some pretty ideal conditions, of course - and we were on-hand to check it out.
First of all, the Galaxy Beam doesn't pull any punches when it comes to its integrated projector - the little phone's add-on is surprisingly bright and feature-packed. 15 lumens isn't anywhere near what you'd get with a dedicated machine, of course, but it's more than impressive from a device that's not much bigger than a standard smartphone. Point the Beam towards a flat surface - preferably one that's dark and neutrally colored - and you get a display that's big at up to 50 inches, but not overly sharp at 640x480 pixels. A manual adjustment ring helps to quickly focus the image.
Samsung claims that the lamp on the inside will last a full 20,000 hours, i.e., much longer than the two-year life of your contract. But as cool a feature as the projector is, you'll have to settle for a decidedly mid-range phone elsewhere. 4.0-inch LCD screen, Gingerbread, 1Ghz dual-core processor and a yellow-on-black color scheme - all are decidedly under the high standards of most Android enthusiasts. On the plus side, the rubberized backing should keep the projector safe ,and the 2000mAh battery should keep it running for few hours at least.
Though there's no mention of a time or date, Samsung assures us it'll be ready with a bevvy of accessories for the Galaxy Beam, most notably a portable stand. They also told us that an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich is already in the works. Remember to check our Mobile World Congress portal for the skinny on all the new hardware.